LIMA — Gary Allen died March 20 at age 75. On Sunday, dozens of car enthusiasts came out to Tom’s Auto Detail on Shawnee Road to remember Allen who restored an estimated 200 cars over a 57-year period.
The first-ever Gary Allen Memorial Classic Car Cruz-In featured classic cars of all shapes and sizes as well as a few motorcycles.
Allen’s wife Vicky was blown away by the turnout.
“He would be so humble — just thrilled. You know, this was his life. He was brought up in that era of the muscle car and he always had a love of cars and everybody here has a mutual respect for each other because of those cars,” Allen said.
Gary Allen’s love of cars started at 18.
“We kept some rare ones in our collection because he noticed that they were getting hard to find. Those were our nine cars that we showed. I love cars as much as he did and especially the old Corvettes,” Vicky Allen said.
Richie Crouch has been organizing car shows for a number of years including The King Car Show, which was canceled this year due to COVID-19.
Allen has a special place among local classic car enthusiasts.
“He was a legend. He really was. If you look at these cars, Gary was very particular. Gary had a very fine collection, which is sitting up at the front of Tom Evans Detail Shop. We just wanted to remember him, and I know he’s shining down on us today,” Crouch said.
A 50-50 drawing will help the March of Dimes.
Crouch was pleased with the support the car show has received.
“… I think right now we’re over 160, maybe we’re close to 180 or 200,” Crouch said.
Tom Evans, owner of Tom’s Auto Detail, organized the show for his long-time friend.
“Gary was just one of them guys, just a really good friend of mine. He’s been around for years, since I was a kid and we’re real tight and did a lot of jobs for him over the years and he’s like family to me, him and Vicky. They’ve always been a part of our family,” Evans said.
Evans was so impressed with the support, they’re planning on doing it again next year.
“I think it’s awesome. All these people came out today in support of this,” Evans said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.